Monday, August 22, 2011

Search the Dark by Charles Todd

Search the Dark (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #3)Search the Dark by Charles Todd

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Search The Dark by Charles Todd
Inspector Ian Rutledge is sent to a small town to find two missing children but instead of answers he finds more questions. Even though he is constantly haunted by a ghost from his past the inspector expertly wades though the evidence to find the real truth.
This is a mystery book so there are several crimes to solve. I found that about halve way though I was yelling at the pages saying all right that's enough time to solve. The clues were subtle but obvious and a casual gumshoe would get it right away. That said I love the fell of this book and would recommend it to anyone who likes mysteries.

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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Meet and Greet with Author Devin O'Branagan

I am pleased to welcome Devin O'Branagan to my book blog.
Thank you Devin for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk to me.

1. You wrote Red Hot Liberty and Show Dog Sings the blues at the same time was this task difficult? What were some of the challenges? What were some of the rewards?

Yes, it was very difficult to write RED HOT LIBERTY and SHOW DOG SINGS THE BLUES at the same time, but I have made the decision that from now on I will work on multiple projects at once. It does keep the creative energy fresh and helps avoid writer’s block. I’m also hoping it will allow me to produce books more quickly.

2. When you created the character Valentino DeMitri in Red Hot Property, did you have any idea that he would turn out to be such a force of nature that he would need to be carried over into Red Hot Liberty?

When I initially conceived of Val, he was merely intended to be the comic relief in RED HOT PROPERTY. However, midway through the book he took on an incredible life of his own. People responded in amazing ways. One English professor from Auburn University wrote me a letter and suggested that Val was a metaphor for Christ. I’ve had members of the gay community write and ask for photos of him. Elderly women have expressed interest in adopting him. And a multitude of straight women of all ages have sent fan mail declaring their love for him. Personally, I find myself talking to him when I’m depressed or scared. I believe that the character of Val tapped into the archetype of compassion—a wounded soul who is healed by loving others. He is the type of human being we all want to have in our lives. So, to answer your question, Val will always be part of the RED HOT novels in one way or another because he simply must be. He is the soul of that series. I fully expect that someone will start a fan club for him long before anyone gets around to starting one for me! LOL !

3. You have written many types of books from chick lit to Young Adult. What is your favorite kind of book to write?

Whatever book I am working on at the moment is the kind of book I always want to write. When I finished writing my urban fantasy GLORY, I did not want to return to writing my RED HOT chick lit series. Now I’ve finished RED HOT LIBERTY, I’m having a hard time working on the sequel to GLORY. It’s not easy for me to shift gears, which is another reason I plan to work on multiple projects simultaneously from this point forward.

4. Besides books what other literary things do you write?

I write a humor column for TAILS Magazine. I am also working on a fantasy called “Vampire-Hunting Dogs in Space” that is being told entirely in cyber-space.
Devin's Tails
5. You said that a portion of the proceeds from the sale of Show Dog Sings the Blues will be donated to Australian Shepherd Rescue? What other things do you do to help animals?

I’ve held two huge raffles to benefit Best Friends Animal Society (the nation’s largest no-kill animal sanctuary). I donate money from plush toy sales at my online gift shop to Aussie Rescue, Border Collie Rescue, and Cat Rescue. I donate autographed copies of my novels for auctions to raise money for Basset Hound Rescue and other organizations that raise money for animal welfare.

6. You normally write about Australian Shepherds. Was it difficult to step out of your norm and write about another breed?

Yes! When a Basset Hound won the first Best Friends raffle I held, the prize was to feature him as a character in my novel RED HOT LIBERTY. I did tons of research. Now I need to learn about Labradoodles for the dog who won another Best Friends raffle I held. (Bocker the Labradoodle will become a character in the third book in the RED HOT trilogy.) It’s challenging because I want to portray the dogs well. I have another book coming up soon that will introduce yet another Australian Shepherd as a main canine character, and I asked my adviser if I should make the character another breed instead so as not to OD my readers on Aussies. She wisely reminded me that Aussies are what I know best and can most accurately portray. So, I will stick with my own breed whenever possible.

7. What are some of the things that inspire you to write?

I’m not sure how to answer this question. I’ve been writing since I was five years old. I can’t imagine not writing. I need very little inspiration, as the passion is inborn.

8. Can you tell those who don't know a bit more about about your very successful website and forum at

I have a wonderful website which offers a lot of entertainment. There are book trailer videos, a multitude of book excerpts, free short stories, fun bios of many of the characters in my novels, book giveaways, a gift shop with custom-made products tied into the themes of my novels, pages devoted to the real-life animals featured in my books, a bookstore where fans may buy autographed (and pawtographed) copies of my novels, a hub from where people can follow the cyber-adventure of “Vampire-Hunting Dogs in Space,” links to all three of my entertaining blogs, an archive of my eNewsletters, and a sign-up box where fans may subscribe to those newsletters. Most exciting of all, is my online forum. What began strictly as a writers’ forum over a year ago is now also a gathering place for artists, readers, animal lovers, and people who want to share their metaphysical interests. For the writers, we have a critique forum, brainstorming sections, monthly flash fiction contests, news updates about the publishing industry, marketing strategies, and a whole lot of moral support. I encourage everyone to visit and consider joining our great group.

9. What are your plans for future projects?

My next release will be the paranormal thriller THRESHOLD. It is about a little boy who has a near-death experience and returns with a mission. I am also working on the sequel to GLORY and a prequel to SHOW DOG SINGS THE BLUES.

10. When you are not writing what do you do for fun?

I read. I meditate. I am also a gourmet vegetarian cook.

11. Your books are so full of faith and the pursuit thereof. Is this a reflection of your own life or something that just seemed right for the work?

All the fiction I’ve written, from the time I wrote my first story at age five, has been a means for me to explore issues of spiritual faith, courage, honor, and integrity. The themes of my novels reflect my own lifelong journey of discovery.

Devin has written many books all of which can be purchased on her website

Bellow are the reviews for the ones that I have read.

Red Hot PropertyRed Hot Property by Devin O'Branagan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What do you do when a bubble blowing, pink bunny slipper wearing, Cuban psychic reads some bird bones and tells you to uproot your whole life and start over in a new town and career? Well if you are anything Molly O’Malley and have a young child's welfare to consider you do exactly what she says. This upbeat book is filled with joy sadness and a whole lot of love. It will make you sing, dance, laugh, and cry. It is well worth the read for anyone who likes romance, chick lit, or just an all around good book. I have to say that this it a wonderful book that I will read over and over.

Red Hot LibertyRed Hot Liberty by Devin O'Branagan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Safety was Molly's cry until she met Liberty True and her flag wearing Basset hound Ross. When Liberty first entered Molly's new office she was off put by this forceful tinfoil hat wearing woman who talked about survival and government conspiracies. As their friendship grew however Molly found more then she bargained for. She realized that somethings life, friendship, love, and faith are worth fighting for no matter the consequences. As with Red Hot Property I loved this book it was filled with new and old characters that despite their fictional status I have grown to love them as if they are real and they affect my life accordingly. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes, romance love, friendship, or is searching for the meaning of life.

Show Dog Sings the BluesShow Dog Sings the Blues by Devin O'Branagan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Have you ever met a dog that you swore, that if it walked on two legs instead of four, it would be more human then most people. Well Tali is one such dog born and raised to be a pampered show dog in this book she finds out that she is more then just a pretty face. In a unfortunate event during a play date Talie is mixed up with her Cow dog sister and forced to help on the ranch, unaware that by doing so she helps herself and others find out that there is more to life then what you see on the surface. Deep down life and death are powered by love and that makes the world go around. I loved this little sister novella to Red Hot Liberty it gives you real insight into the powerful mind of a dog and reminds us that just because they can't speak, that doesn't mean they don't have hearts or souls. I would recommend this to anyone who likes dogs, friends, and a good laugh.

Witch HuntWitch Hunt by Devin O'Branagan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In this book you live and suffer with several generations of the Hawthorne family, as they battle with persecution, exile and execution, that ends in a modern day massacre. This travesty is created and led by one man who has the power to motivate the masses to condemn what they didn't understand. It really makes you wonder how far people will truly go to prove that their religion is the best.

Since the very beginning of time, the human race has tried to interpret, enforce and follow Gods law. They have instead, distorted, abused, and, disobeyed it for their own spiritual gain. This horrible reality has not improved at all over the centuries even though we claim to be more civilized. For some reason people are driven to exterminate anything that they don't understand in the name of their religion even if innocent lives are harmed in the process. This book reminds us that faith can be a very powerful thing for both good and evil and how you use that faith defines you as a person.

I think that this book is well worth the read and I would recommend it to anyone who likes fantasy, romance, and historical fiction.

I received this Pre-reader copy from the author.

GloryGlory by Devin O'Branagan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Glory By Devin O'Branagan
Love, Hate, Life, Death, and Faith, these are words that we all take for granted every day, yet they seem to be what holds the fabric of the universe together. This book is about a young girl who finds that each one of those words are more than just words they are power. When Glory finds out that she is the cure for a deadly plague she is thrown into a world she only thought existed in the movies. With the help of some very unconventional friends she finds herself in a deadly race to save all of humanity. I found this book to be very enjoyable and well worth the read because it was filled with love, loss, and passion. It is not like any other book that I have read of this kind and should not be treated as such just because of the subject matter or characters in it. This book is all about the power of Faith and should be approached that way.

Pretty SacrificesPretty Sacrifices by Devin O'Branagan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In Glory. the first novel in this mind blowing series, a young woman's world was turned inside out when a pandemic nearly wipes out everyone. Now in this page-turning sequel, the evil is back to claim the lost souls of the dead. It is up to Glory, with a little help from her unusual friends, to fight the battle for the side of good. As with the first novel this book is about faith; the faith in love, faith in God and faith in the power of friendship to overcome all obstacles. This book is a must read for everyone! This series will be displayed on my shelf with great pride and read over and over!

Threshold by Devin O'Branagan
ThresholdThreshold by Devin O'Branagan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Life is a set of bumpy roads. These winding paths all lead to one event that changes your life forever. The way you choose to travel, determines how the end will play out. For Cole Dillon that choice came sooner than expected when he died after falling into a frozen lake. With a little help from his friend Elijah Thunderbird, a Native American Shaman, he is given a second chance on life and a mission to close a dark rift torn open by his return. On the surface this book is about how a near death experience changes the lives of the Dillon family and those closest to them. Underneath it is a tale of love, loss, and a deep faith that will leave you speechless. I would recommend this book to anyone who feels there is something missing in their lives. If you are anything like me you will do just as I did and as soon as you read the last page you will find yourself turning back to the front to read it again.

For more information on Devin or any of her work please feel free to check out her website Devin Writes and her Tails magazine blog Devin's Tails I Will see you there!

I would like thank Devin from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to answer my questions. Please, keep writing such entertaining books! You will always have me as a reader.

Wizard's First Rule By Terry Goodkind

Wizard's First Rule (Sword of Truth, #1)Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What is the Wizards first Rule? Simple, Man is stupid they will believe anything that you tell them if you make it believable enough even if it is not the truth. This book is about a man that finds out that he is more then he seems. I really enjoyed this book but, I like wizards and magic and I would recommend it to anyone who does.

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